#SoyOnTheGo: Reliable Surface Transportation is Key to Keeping Soy & Supply Chain Moving

Dec 03, 2021

By Caleb Ragland  •  ASA Director

As harvest begins to wrap up in Kentucky, the focus has shifted to getting my soybeans from field to market. Now is where the importance of a reliable infrastructure system comes into play. We're very dependent on infrastructure, especially surface transportation, for all the commodities my family and I grow. Our farm in Kentucky is approximately 100 miles from river terminals that take our grains on to the end users. Without functioning roads, it's difficult for us to get our commodities there and shipped cost-effectively.

Dependable surface transportation is also responsible for bringing all the inputs we need to put our crop in the ground, such as fertilizers, seeds, chemicals and parts—all the things we take for granted and as farmers use in our daily lives. This is especially important right now, as rising transportation costs—partly due to the recent supply chain disruptions—are affecting our ability to get these key items such as machinery parts and fertilizer. The issues arising from port backlogs and shipping container shortages are raising the costs of these inputs and potentially hurting the farm economy for the 2022 growing season and beyond.

At ASA, we have spent a lot of time bringing to light many of the aging infrastructure issues that have taken place the last 20 years and highlighting the need for updates, repairs and maintenance. We want to continue having an excellent transportation system for our soybeans and other commodities. In my opinion, the infrastructure in this country separates us from any other country in the world in our ability to deliver goods quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively to both domestic and international markets.